Could it be cancer? Many of us – or someone we love – have faced this question and we know that the time spent waiting for a diagnosis is never easy.
At William Osler Health System (Osler), we are committed to reducing this stressful time from cancer suspicion to diagnosis, and expediting care for patients so they can start their treatment as soon as possible. Osler was thrilled to be recently recognized by Cancer Care Ontario (CCO) and the Mississauga Halton Central West Regional Cancer Program for significant accomplishments in this regard.
Let’s start at Etobicoke General Hospital where our Ontario Breast Screening Program (OBSP) was acknowledged for accelerating care from breast cancer screening to diagnosis, and was awarded as top performer in the province for the fiscal year 2016/17 among 215 OBSP hospitals and Independent Health Facility sites.
One hundred per cent of patients with an abnormal breast screen requiring a tissue biopsy at Etobicoke General received a diagnosis within seven weeks, exceeding the annual improvement target. This time encompasses a breadth of work within both the radiology and pathology departments, starting with the initial screening and ending with the confirmation of pathology findings.
“We are proud to participate in the Ontario Breast Screening Program and of this recognition,” said Dr. Marc Ossip, Chief of Radiology at Osler. “This is the result of the dedication and passion for patient care of our mammography and breast ultrasound technologists, radiologists, pathology technologists, pathologists, nurse navigator, informatics team, clerical and bookings staff, and our administrators. It takes a whole team working together to make sure patients get an accurate diagnosis as fast as possible.”
Osler was also acknowledged for exceeding the provincial annual improvement target for wait times for people undergoing a potential lung cancer diagnosis. In 75.5 per cent of cases, patients referred to Osler’s Lung Diagnostic Assessment Program (DAP) had their diagnosis confirmed or ruled out within 28 days – more than 10 per cent above the provincial target.
Dr. Kashif Irshad, Chief of the Division of Thoracic Surgery at Osler, said the program’s nurse navigator is pivotal to the success of the program. He said this role has “changed the experience for patients,” moving them through the system much more quickly and providing a crucial point of contact. “There is a lot of positive feedback from grateful patients about the nurse navigator,” he said.
According to the Canadian Cancer Society, lung and breast cancer account for two of the top 4 newly diagnosed cancers in Ontario every year, with an estimated 10,100 women diagnosed with breast cancer and 5,300 men and 5,300 women being diagnosed with lung cancer.
Osler’s recognition from CCO and the Mississauga Halton Central West Regional Cancer Program is the result of efforts by many staff across multiple departments working together to improve cancer services and is part of a larger vision for integrated patient-centered cancer care at Osler.
From Left: Jinny Sharma - Regional Coordinator, Mississauga Halton Central West Regional Cancer Program; David Girard - Regional Manager, Mississauga Halton Central West Regional Cancer Program; Dr. Kashif Irshad - Chief of the Division of Thoracic Surgery at Osler; Joe-Anne McCue - Director, Diagnostic Imaging and Laboratory; Dr. Henry Conter - Medical Director Oncology; Patricia Mosnia - Regional Director of Pharmacy, Clinical Director of Oncology & Palliative Care; Farah Khan - Regional Director, Mississauga Halton Central West Regional Cancer Program.